UNHCR and Basic Needs

UNHCR has employed a multi-sector response to refugee emergencies and cash assistance for more than two decades. The UNHCR Results Framework defines basic needs in terms of access to basic services and assistance in health, nutrition, WASH, food, shelter, energy, education, as well as domestic items and specialized services for people with specific needs. The basic needs approach also considers long-term well-being, including needs related to protection, sustainable livelihoods and solutions.

Global Operations

Providing emergency help to those forced to flee is often the first step towards long-term protection and rehabilitation. To meet these and other operational needs, UNHCR has developed a global network of suppliers, specialist agencies and partners. Projects can range from dispatching emergency teams to the scene of a crisis, providing emergency food, shelterwater and medical supplies, and arranging major airlifts for a large exodus of refugees or a flotilla of small boats for smaller numbers of fleeing civilians. Among a host of other programmes, there are projects to help protect the environment, build schools and raise awareness of such problems as HIV/AIDS.